Statutory Sick Pay or SSP as is sometimes referred to is a benefit which is typically paid to those too ill to work (and is awarded for a set amount of time).
The statutory amount is a minimum figure. This figure can only be increased if individual arrangements such as an occupational scheme is put in place by an applicant’s employer. Evidence of such systems can usually be found within your work contract, alternatively it may be beneficial to speak directly to your employer.
Statutory Sick Payment Amounts
Current SSP amounts are £87.55 per week and it is typically paid for up to 28 days. This is unlikely to change in the immediate future.
Statutory Sick Pay – Qualifying Criteria
Qualification for Statutory Sick Pay rests upon specific criteria which states that applicants:
- Have been off work due to sickness for a period of 4 consecutive days or more (including non-working days)
- Are an official employee and have worked for the stated employer
- Adhere to any employer notification deadlines, alternatively 7-days if no such time limits are in place
- Must Earn at least £111 per week (before tax)
Providing a Sick Note
As you may be aware if employees are off work due to illness for more than 7-days a ‘Sick Note’ (now also referred to as ‘Fit Notes’) is required – by an individual’s employer.
Sick Notes are issued by a GP or hospital doctors, if requested prior to the initial 7-day period a fee may be payable.
Sick Notes/Fit Notes basically state whether a person is too ill or indeed fit enough to work.
It is important that employees retain the original Sick Note/Fit Note, however employers can take photocopies if necessary.
How to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
It is essential that all qualifying criteria is met prior to applying for SSP. In addition it is also imperative to keep your employer informed, meeting established deadlines along the way.
Remember, ‘Sick/Fit Notes’ can be obtained from your GP or hospital doctor after 7-days of no work due to illness.
If you require further information regarding the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) application process or you have any associated enquiries, the HMRC Employee’s Helpline is available from 8am until 5pm Monday to Friday.
Sick Leave & Holiday Entitlement
In addition to Statutory Sick Pay there is something called, ‘Statutory Holiday Entitlement’ – this accrues when an employee is off work sick (regardless of the duration). If such leave is not used due to illness, it is acceptable to carry accrued days over to the next holiday year.
Commonly Asked Questions
Do agency workers qualify for SSP?
Yes, as long as all other relevant criteria is met, agency workers should still qualify for Statutory Sick Pay.
My ‘sick note’ states that I ‘may be fit to work’. What does that mean?
If a doctor writes that you ‘may be fit to work’ it is important to reach an agreement with your employer regarding changes which may make your transition back into work easier e.g. reduced hours or light duties.
What is Self-Certification?
Some employers have ‘self-certification’ forms available to complete if an employee has been off sick for a period of up to 7 days.
I don’t qualify for SSP, what are my alternatives?
One option may be to (if your employer agrees of course) to take paid holidays accrued.